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Trade and development report 2013

Adjusting to the changing dynamics of the world economy

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The shape of the world economy has changed significantly over the last two decades, with a rising importance of several developing countries and regions as additional drivers of global economic growth. The main objective of Trade and Development Report 2013 is to assess the systemic changes in the underlying structure of the world economy and to analyse the resulting policy challenges. Particular attention will be paid to a plausible scenario in which developing and transition countries must design their development strategies in a context of a prolonged period of sluggish growth in developed countries. The Report’s main message will be that in order to achieve high, sustained and inclusive growth, developing and transition economies will need to move towards a new form of development, away from seeking net-export advantages on the back of global imbalances. Rather, the new context calls for strengthening domestic income and demand and reinvigorating regional and South-South coordination and economic linkages.

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Current trends and challenges in the world economy

The global economy is still struggling to return to a strong and sustained growth path. World output, which grew at a rate of 2.2 per cent in 2012, is forecast to grow at a similar rate in 2013. Developed countries will continue to lag behind the world average, with a likely 1 per cent increase in gross domestic product (GDP), due to a slight deceleration in the United States and a continuing recession in the euro area. Developing and transition economies should grow by about 4.7 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively (table 1.1). Even though these growth rates are significantly higher than those of developed countries, they remain well below their pre-crisis levels. Furthermore, they confirm the pace of deceleration that started in 2012.

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